Posts Tagged ‘San Vicente Inn’


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Kurt and Anthony getting ready to hike into the woods.

The next morning was our second photo shoot. This was with a guy named Anthony P. which Kurt located through a site called Model Mayhem (that’s not his name on the site). Kurt picked me up at the San Vicente at 8am and I met Anthony, whom I had seen pictures of, but hadn’t met in person before. He was very handsome, very pleasant, and I was looking forward to shooting photos of him. We drove north to the same general area as the previous day, and again, hiked a while to find a photogenic area.

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We did find some fairly nice locations.

The area we were in was not as attractive as the one the previous day. Kurt told me that every time he visits one of these locations in and around the LA area, he never knows what to expect, because there’s so much change with the time of year, and sometimes wildfires will burn off all the vegetation in an area that was previously a great location. So the settings were not ideal, but we had driven all that way, so we decided to make the best of it. And we did get some nice shots.

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At two with nature...

Unfortunately our model was not a nature boy. I was reminded, over and over again, of Woody Allen’s comment, “I am at two with nature.” That was Anthony. He was a trooper, though. He got himself wet in cold, not-very-clean water for us. He let himself be eaten up by ants (well, for a minute anyway). He got muddy. But it was clear he was not happy in the environment. Of course, Kurt and I weren’t that happy with the environment, either. I had an idea. I called my hotel and talked to the day manager and asked him if we could use the area around the pool to shoot some nudes. Since that part of the hotel is clothing-optional anyway, he was pretty agreeable as long as our shoot wasn’t too lengthy. So we hiked back to the car and got on the freeway and headed back down to West Hollywood.

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Anthony was much happier in a hotel pool than in a creek in the woods.

This turned out to be a wonderful idea. When we walked in to the pool area of the San Vicente, I could tell Anthony was much happier. This was an environment he could enjoy working in. Both Kurt and I were much happier with it, too. The San Vicente has been used for a lot of photo and video shoots and it’s actually a great backdrop for this kind of thing. And it was very convenient for me, of course.

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This is me and Anthony by the San Vicente pool.

The weather was perfect and the setting was perfect. And it was late morning so there was hardly anyone around, so we were able to shoot undisturbed. This was one of those things that so often happens with photo shoots. You plan for one situation and it doesn’t work out and you play it by ear, and you end up in a completely different setting than you planned, but somehow it all works out.

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Again, Kurt and I worked really smoothly together, and it was a nice change from a “wilderness” setting where everything is improvised. Nice to have a bathroom handy, access to food and water, etc. Plus the comfort of being able to jump in the pool whenever you get hot—and it was turning into a hot day. Again, we shot for about two hours total and got a lot of great stuff. Another successful photo shoot, and I felt a sense of accomplishment. And I found I was really looking forward to the next morning and our third and final photo shoot with Chadwick. If Chadwick was anything like the photos I’d seen of him, this was going to be exciting!

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Along about August or September of this year, I started to feel a real need for some new models. The situation was that I had not had a new model in several months. There’d been lots of possibilities, but for one reason or another things kept falling through. So I had an idea. My friend Kurt Brown, who’s a well-known photographer of the male nude in Southern California, seemed to always have really hot models. (In fact, he’s the one who hooked me up with Jorge, who modeled for me while visiting Hawaii with Kurt in January 2009.) I thought, maybe he can help me out. So I called him up, and made a proposal: Would he be interested in working with me if I came up to LA to do some photo shoots? I would pay the models, and Kurt would coordinate everything from his end—the models, the locations, the transportation. Then we would both photograph the model during the photo shoot. He thought it sounded like a great idea, so we started planning and working out the details.

As it happened, my model drought ended just a few days after my first conversations with Kurt, when I met and photographed Jeff. This was a great development—a hot new model!—and I was very excited to have some new images to work with. But the LA project was still looking like it was going to be an exciting adventure, and I decided to proceed with it. There’s no such thing as too many hot new models, right?

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So I flew up to LA in mid-October. Kurt was a sweetheart and picked me up at the airport and drove me to my hotel, the San Vicente Inn. This is an unusual little hotel in WeHo which is gay and clothing-optional and used to be a lot of fun and really wonderful, but which has gone downhill over the past few years. I chose to stay there anyway because the location and the price were right. (I was happy to discover, during my stay this time, that a new owner is working hard to bring back the glory of the San Vicente’s former days. I wish him luck and hope he is successful with that!) Anyway, I arrived late at night and Kurt had scheduled our first photo shoot (with a model named Marcelino) for 7am the next morning.

A few hours later, I woke to the sound of rain on the roof. I looked out the window and saw nothing but dark grey skies and lots of precipitation. Evidently a weather system was dumping rain on all of Southern California. We had to cancel the shoot but fortunately Marcelino was free the following morning and we were hopeful we’d have better weather. Frankly, I was pretty happy not to have to roll out of bed at sunup on the first morning…

I suggested we meet at 8 the next morning instead of 7 and that’s what we did. It was a bit hazy and cloudy but looked promising. I met Marcelino for the first time when I got into Kurt’s car. He’s of Mexican descent, born and raised in LA, 20 years old, and seemed sweet and kind of reserved. And very cute, of course.
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We drove for about a half-hour north and ended up in the San Fernando Valley, where Kurt knows a recreation area where he’s shot before. We pulled off the freeway and parked, then the three of us started hiking.

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We hiked around for awhile before finally finding a spot near a lake that looked promising. After Marcelino got naked, Kurt oiled him up with suntan oil. This is something I never do, but I learned from Kurt. It does make the model look better and tends to add to the drama of whatever the lighting situation may be. While they were doing that, I started looking around for ideas on exactly where I wanted the model to stand, and what angles I’d be shooting him from.

The natural place to begin was with the lake as a background, so that’s what we did. The light was still a bit grey but the sun was starting to emerge, and it looked like we were going to have at least a fairly decent day. I’m so used to shooting on beaches that putting the model against a lake as a backdrop was a novel experience. I love the stillness of it, and the reflections. There’s a calmness about Marcelino that goes well with the setting, too.

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We shot for a couple of hours, hiking from area to area in what turned out to be a fairly large wilderness area. The day had turned into a bright, sunny, hot one, and the light was great. Neither Kurt nor I had known what it would be like to be working together, both shooting and sharing a single model. Would we get in each other’s way, step on each other’s toes? As it turned out, we worked together seamlessly. And Marcelino was a wonderful model, easy-going, natural, handsome—a total delight. Both Kurt and I were very pleased with all the great shots we got. I couldn’t have asked for a better first photo shoot on this LA trip.

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Update to this Entry:

In January 2012 I published an e-book containing 60 uncensored photographs of Marcelino from the above photo shoot. You can purchase the book for instant download here.